The Lexington County Republican Party is upset with state Sen. Jake Knotts, R-Lexington, again and asking him to resign.
The party's executive committee voted 28-22 Monday to censure Knotts, based on last year's findings by the Senate Ethics Committee that the veteran legislator had broken state campaign finance laws.
Knotts publicly was reprimanded by the Senate committee, which required him to repay nearly $25,000 in contributions above the legal limit and improve his record keeping. However, the Senate committee found no evidence that Knotts had spent any of the money for his personal use or that any money was missing.
Said Rich Bolen, chairman of the Lexington party, "There is a strong sentiment among regular Republicans that we, as a party, must hold our elected officials accountable ... and that, even though we have no formal authority over a sitting government elected official, we can express our disapproval of misbehavior."
Knotts said Tuesday he has no intention of stepping down.
"No money missing. No money misspent. I've corrected everything," Knotts said, adding he also has co-sponsored bills to tighten the state's campaign finance laws, including a bill to ban legislative leaders from having political action committees. "I'm not going anywhere."
The Lexington GOP also censured Knotts last June, after he called state Rep. Nikki Haley, R-Lexington, then a candidate for governor, a racial slur during an Internet political show. At the time, Knotts, who frequently has clashed with now-Gov. Haley, said the comment was made in jest.
A day after he made the comment, Katrina Shealy, a former Lexington County GOP chairwoman, said she would run against Knotts again in 2012. The two also faced off in 2008 for the same Senate seat. Knotts won in a runoff with 57 percent of the vote.